Health care providers can support women to have healthy weights during the perinatal period. Studies show that women want to discuss weight with their health care providers. In particular, women who are overweight and obese have questions regarding gestational weight gain. And, there is evidence that women who have weight gain discussions with their health care providers are more likely to gain weight within the recommendations.
Women who are overweight or obese pre-pregnancy and women who gain outside of the gestational weight gain recommendations are at higher risk for complications during pregnancy and later in life. However, women face many barriers to having healthy weights, such as societal messages about being thin, time stress, financial constraints, and not having assistance with child care. Recognizing a woman’s personal barriers and working with her to identify possible solutions is one way that you can support her efforts to eat healthfully and be physically active.
The 5As of Healthy Pregnancy Weight Gain Toolkit is intended to help primary care practitioners discuss and manage gestational weight with their patients. The 5As (Ask, Assess, Advise, Agree, and Assist) framework ensures sensitive, realistic, measureable, and sustainable obesity management strategies that focus on improving health and well-being, rather than simply aiming for numbers on a scale.
The toolkit includes a practitioner guide, practitioner checklist, readiness ruler, and desk reminder.